6 homemade food Christmas presents you still have time to make
Don’t panic just yet – whip up these gifts instead of rushing round the shops last minute
Christmas is stressful enough without leaving present buying to the last minute and having to do the annual mad dash around the high street, trying to find something – anything – for your favourite people.
This year, instead of throwing money at the problem, why not get crafty and solve it with food?
Here are six ideas for homemade treats that are easy to whip up, but will make you look both ingenious and thoughtful when you hand them over to be unwrapped.
Melt together equal amounts of butter, golden syrup and sugar (50g is good for one batch), before adding flour (50g) and throwing in some chopped nuts (almonds and walnuts work well) and fruit (go festive with cranberries). Spoon onto a baking tray and bake for 10 minutes in a hot oven. Leave to cool before drizzling with, or dunking in, chocolate. Try not to eat all of them yourself…
2. Chilli oil
For this, you need a handful of dried chillies (all shapes, sizes and hotness levels welcome – and extra points if they’re homegrown), a couple of nicely shaped bottles and enough olive oil to fill them. Decant the oil into the bottles, divide the chillies between them (add some whole, and some chopped), shake and seal. Ta dah!
3. Chocolate truffles
Melt together 300g of double cream and 50g butter, before adding 300g of chopped chocolate (milk, dark or white, or a mixture). Stir until all molten and smooth, then add any flavours (booze, freeze dried fruit and zest etc). Chill in the fridge for several hours. Once cool, shape into individual balls and immediately dust with LOTS of cocoa powder and crushed nuts.
4. Spiced and roasted nuts
Grab a mixed selection of your favourite nuts (pecans are particularly festive), drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with brown sugar, salt and some flavourings (thyme, rosemary, chilli, black pepper, paprika – be inventive), before roasting in a hot oven until golden. Leave to cool before popping in glass jars, with a bow on.
5. Chocolate pretzels
Grab a bag of pretzels, melt a bar of chocolate, then dunk the pretzels into the molten chocolate, leave to cool in the fridge and bag up with a ribbon – easy-peasy and very moreish.
6. Coconut ice
Making coconut ice is ridiculously straightforward. Just combine 200g condensed milk, 175g desiccated coconut and 225g icing sugar, split the (very stiff) mixture in half, then add a drop or two of red food colouring to one lot, for that pink pop. Squish into bars, leave to set, then carve into decent chunks.
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